The Brazilian basketball team had a much harder time than expected beating Britain 67-62 on the second day of the Olympic basketball competition here.

Brazil started the game pretty well, but things went horribly wrong very quickly. Four minutes into play they were up 4-0 but at the end of the first quarter they were losing 4-11 after hitting only two of 12 two-point shots and none of the eight three-pointers they loosed.

It is only rarely that just a few statistics can illustrate the lack of concentration of a team who it was thought would handily dominate its rival.

Before the game, and convinced of their superiority over the Brits, it seems that Brazil had mentally relaxed, thus giving their hosts a chance to get cheeky.

But after the very rude awakening in the first quarter, Brazil was in a deep hole and regrouped to try and claw its way out, something that took time and effort, and by halftime the score was tied at 27-27.

In the second half, Brazil pushed on defense, no longer underestimated their opponents and - on the basis of some good shooting - managed to take a 57-56 lead with just four minutes left in the game.

When push came to shove, the South American squad showed itself to be the superior one with its experience and level of play, but it was a game in which Brazil played with fire and almost wound up getting scorched. EFE